US steel tariffs a 'double edged sword' says steel company CEO
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
When US President Joe Biden took office, he vowed to undo plenty of Donald Trump’s Republican policies. It has been a challenging year for the new President and the Covid pandemic hasn’t helped. One of his biggest issues is struggling to keep steelworkers happy while trying to lift crippling tariffs imposed by Mr Trump.
President Biden is keen to show he is committed to delivering for steelworkers and other unions.
But he is facing pressure from within America and from abroad to lift tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminium that were introduced by the previous administration.
They formed a key part of Mr Trump’s mantra to “make America great again” and encouraged American businesses to use US-made steel instead of foreign imports.
But the tariffs have made the cost of foreign steel too high for many.
Now American business leaders and European allies have called on President Biden to lift these tariffs.
While it may have provided a boost to American steel production, the tariffs are enormously unpopular with business groups who see them as an unnecessary financial burden.
They come at a time when businesses are already struggling with supply chain shortages, rising inflations and other problems caused by the pandemic.
The EU wants to see the back of the tariffs too, putting pressure on the US President to get rid of them.
This has left Mr Biden in a difficult position, however.
If he lifts the tariffs now he risks angering steelworks and union bosses ahead of the 2022 elections.
But if he doesn’t, he could fall out of favour with other business leaders and the EU.
Mr Trump brought in the tariffs not only to boost US steel production but to undercut China’s dominance in the steel market.
China has been flooding the global market with its steel for decades.
Offering Chinese made steel at the cheapest prices has seen a downturn in steel produced elsewhere.
Mr Biden now has a difficult decision to make over whether to lift the tariffs imposed by his predecessor or not.
The tariffs help around 137,200 US steel and ironworkers.
But the rocketing cost of steel could affect a far greater number – there are an estimated 6.5 million workers who need steel and aluminium for the goods they make.
Many economists have warned that the tariffs could endanger far more jobs than they protect.
The US steel industry may be a necessary casualty if Biden wants to boost global trade overall and to protect US manufacturing industries.
Source: Read Full Article